Anthony Rizzo will attempt to further galvanize his legacy as the Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All Time when he starts things off for the Cubs in this one. Kris Bryant follows, Jason Heyward bats third, and Javy Baez cleans up.
Willson Contreras bats behind his fellow All-Star starter, Kyle Schwarber bats sixth, Albert Almora Jr. is seventh, and Addison Russell rounds things out.
Jon Lester just keeps going out there and winning ballgames for the Cubs, no matter when, where, or against whom. This will be his fourth start against the Cardinals this season and he’s 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in the first three. Of the four runs scored against him, three have come via solo homers and the other on a triple. So if Lester can avoid big hits, he’s golden.
Going for the Cards is 22-year-old Jack Flaherty, who sounds like a Boston beat cop straight out of central casting. He stifled the Cubs a little over a month ago, holding them scoreless with only two hits over five innings. He runs hot and cold and hasn’t pitched quite as well on the road, so perhaps the Cubs catch him on a bad day in this one.
Flaherty’s got an excellent fastball/slider combo, but what really baffled the Cubs was his curveball. That’s a bit of an oddity, though, since he hasn’t often had great feel for it. Flaherty’s a reverse-split guy on the whole, which is why Joe Maddon opted not to stack up lefties, so we’ll see if that helps them this time around.
First pitch is at 1:20pm CT and can be taken in via NBC Sports Chicago and 670 The Score. And here’s to hoping Jon Lester goes deep to save the bullpen for Saturday’s double-header. Also that he goes deep with a homer.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 20, 2018